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joe biden, two has negotiated deals in the past, obviously, with mitch mcconnell, has seemed to move this forward. they're going to continue negotiating, even though there won't be any votes tonight. so let me ask you, what is your sense of what's going to happen here? are we going to avoid going over the fiscal cliff? >> i don't know. i think it's 50-50 as we go into the final hours here now. the fact that negotiations are ongoing is a good sign. i served on what was known as the biden group in the summer of 2011. unfortunately, at the end of the day, as you remember, the republicans walked out of those negotiations. why? for the same time they've abandoned all the negotiations so far, is they didn't want to ask high income individuals to share greater responsibility for reducing the deficit. they wanted to put that burden on the middle class. maybe in the final hours, something will change there. but it's important to understand that's exactly what's happening there. they're using the clock and the final hours and the threat of a slowing economy and higher taxes on middle income fo
, has said he has reached out to joe biden, the vice president, and not incidentally the president of the senate in that capacity. he has had a couple of conversations with him according to republican senators, one, just within the last hour, at least one, when mitch mcconnell left a closed door luncheon of republican senators to speak with joe biden by phone. we understand that joe biden, our crack white house team, put eyes on him going into the white house about 1:45 this afternoon. he was in delaware yesterday. seems unlikely at this point that biden would make the trip up to capitol hill for any face-to-face negotiations. democrats say this is simply a ruse, mitch mcconnell trying to go around harry reid, the democratic leader here and appealing to joe biden, trying to make it look in democratic estimation as if republicans are going the last mile, but, look, we're stuck. we're nowhere at this point. there was a major setback earlier. you mentioned it, the so-called chained cpi. a lot of people tweeted me and said what the heck is that? simply a revised way of adjusting cost o
in for andrea today. deal or no deal? as vice president joe biden and senate republican leader mitch mcconnell continue negotiations, we just have learned that president obama will speak about the fiscal cliff at 1:30 p.m. eastern time. with all that happening, let's get right to our daily fix. nbc's kelly o'donnell on capitol hill, nbc's kristen welker at the white house, and jonathan capehart, washington post editorial writer and my colleague and an msnbc contributor. okay, kelly. the action is on the hill where it's been for the last few days. let's start with you. this is a fast-moving story. give us the latest perimeters of what appears -- i emphasize appears to be the start of a deal. >> well, it has been coming closer together, so we are told. the question is what will the president be saying, and senior advisors here as well as senators i've spoken to say they do not expect that he is making any nounment of a deal, so we'll wait for the white house to determine that for sure. what we've been hearing is that they have moved off the issue of taxes and have been more focused on the
more time at what is being discussed now. mitch mcconnell and joe biden talked into the wee hours until 12:30 last night and 6:30 this morning. $450,000 as the threshold for couples, $400,000 for individuals over which your taxes would go up about four percentage points. estate tax compromise. this is something democrats want as well because the estate tax is due to zoom up to 55% on estates more than $1 million if they're passed and nobody wants to see that happen. they are trying to work on a compromise. unemployment, insurance benefits. obviously something urgent for millions of people collecting and the long-term unemployed who have been unemployed for quite sometime. delaying that sequester. this is what i'm talking about. they're talking about delaying it perhaps three months. this is the ultimate kicking the can down the road. remember the sequester is what got us to this point to begin with. it was supposed to be trigger, the guiotine hanging over the necks of the members of congress to git them to do something by tonight. we only have about 13 more hours. one more thing to show
felt joe biden was doing the same thing. he was clarifying this is pure ridiculousness. we had to cut this down a little bit. let's watch vp biden during the vp debate. >> transition. but what we also want to do in spite of their opposition. >> oh, god. >> this idea came from the clinton -- >> the answer, please. >> did they -- this is a plan that is bipartisan. >> no massive -- >> it's what we do. we do it for all constituents. >> i love that. >> it's how we all were responding to the whole thing. what? >> joe biden. i was happy there weren't commercials on that. if he had time to stop and go over to paul ryan and pee on his leg to show dominance. let's have the moment to acknowledge the magic amount biden had to get away with that. for the most part, he got away with that. imagine if the president was constantly laughing at his opponent, that would not have gone well. not well at all. >> not only white privilege. think about if joe biden behaved that way toward sarah palin, not only would he have been attacked. it's like he suddenly realized, that's totally what he wanted to do duri
to the vice president asking him to get involved in this in part because joe biden was in the senate for so long and has been able to help bring the two sides together in previous cases where they were down to the wire. we know that call has gone out. harry reid says he has reached out to the president on the phone a couple of times. republicans say there is no single issue that should break this. there is something that democrats are talking about. what we have learned is in an offer presented by republicans last night at 7:00 included within that was a request to make a change to how future increases to the payments of social security would change. not taking any money away presently but over the years to come reducing the amount of increase. that is called chain cpi. for democrats it is a nonstarter. here is majority leader harry reid. >> we're not going to have any social security cuts. at this stage that doesn't seem appropriate. i still hold out hope that we can get something done but i'm not overly optimistic but i am cautiously optimistic. >> so you hear some sense that there might
-start the negotiations and perhaps deliver an 11th-hour compromise. that's vice president joe biden. mcconnell and biden reportedly spoke several times by phone throughout the night after talks with harry reid came to a halt. welcome back, everyone, to "morning joe." that's the latest. ed rendell and jeffrey sachs all with us along with sam stein and michael steele in washington. joining us also in washington, senior national correspondent for "bloomberg businessweek," joshua green. and joshua, before we go on to what led to this doomsday scenario that we're facing right now, which was all set up by lawmakers in washington, talk to me about what businesses are looking for and wall street is looking for. there will be reaction. there's always this discussion about the need for certainty. at best, we're going to get some sort of small deal that puts everything off, which makes this whole deadline make no sense. are businesses going to respond well to that? >> if we get a deal, yes. i mean, wall street all along has been looking to avert the fiscal cliff. and frankly, i don't think ceos and businesses care
. on the democratic side, vice president biden, secretary of state, hillary clinton, bennett, jerry brown, elizabeth warren, and angus king who is an independent but will caucus with the democratics on the republican side. marco rubio, mike pence, jeb bush, and soon to be former senator from south carolina jim demint. joining me now, our end of the year gaggle, crystal lizza, perry bacon, stephanie cutter was the deputy campaign manager for obama's campaign, and madden was a senior adviser for romney's campaign. hello. happy new year, although we asked all of you to pick, i threw out my dozen and i asked you to pick two you were going to feedback. we're not going to do the 2016 conversation now, but we'll do it in a few minutes. who are the few who jumped out at you? >> i'm a little nierdy, so i picked michael bennet, the colorado senator, because he's the head of the committee which means he's tasked with trying to again keep a democratic senate majority, going to be difficult. you have 20 democratic seats up, only 10 republican seats up. >> and he wants to be senate majority leader some day. >> th
. minority leader mitch mcconnell called vice president biden in an effort to jump-start negotiations and there are reports of significant movement, giving some hope that some house republicans will go along with the deal. >> i do believe there are at least two dozen who would vote for the kind of agreement we're hearing about being put together in the senate. >> the vice president and i have worked together on solutions before and i believe we can again. >> there are some indications on how they're getting a little closer to an agreement. when it comes to income tax hikes "the washington post" reports that democrats counter offer sets the threshold at $450,000 a year for taxes to go up. republicans are looking for $550,000. democrats are no longer insisting on raising the estate tax on the very wealthy. they will now agree apparently to an up or down vote. that was key for republicans. still, both sides remain far apart on extending unemployment benefits and on the sequester. of course that is when the steep automatic spending cuts would slash budgets at the pentagon and other govern
president joe biden to help reach an agreement. two men who have served as their party's closers, so to speak, on tough deals before. senate majority leader harry reid says he plans to have a plan up for a vote tomorrow morning. although there are serious differences on both sides. >> we're not going to have any social security cuts at this stage, it just doesn't seem appropriate. i still hold out hope we can get something done but i'm not overly optimistic but i am cautiously optimistic. >> republicans pushed back on claims by democrats that the social security benefit measurement, which is known as the chained cpi and basically would reduce the amount of money that senior citizens get under social security, was part of the republican plan. in any case, that is off the table. senator john mccain posted this on twitter, most of us agree the chained cpi is off the table in these negotiations. president obama continued to put public pressure on republicans during his appearance on "meet the press" today. >> it is very important for republicans in congress to be willing to say, we under
in on the top flight dealmaking. lead negotiations have now fallen to vice president joe biden and senate minority leader mitch mcconnell who said an agreement is very close and said congress should act on the tax portion of the deal. >> let's pass the tax relief portion now. let's take what's been agreed to and get moving. we can do this. we must do this. >> famous last words. i want to go to the capital now. joining us, the dynamic duo, the silver fox and mr. boatshoe. nbc's mike viqueira and luke russert. gentlemen, thanks for being here. our cnbc colleague john harwood is reporting that there will be no vote in the house tonight, and according to his sources, the u.s. will go over the fiscal cliff. what's your reaction to that? have you heard that -- >> we can confirm that. >> i love john harwood, but luke and i have been reporting the same thing, jonathan, so there. >> okay. so we're going over the cliff? >> apparently. that's the bad news. the good news is, the parameters of a deal are definitely there. as you described, jonathan, the sticking point remains this so-called trigger, t
's the list i through out. biden, clinton, bennet, brown, warren and king. who, of course, is an independent but will caucus with the democrats on the republican side we have haley, rubio, ryan, pence, bush and demint. joining me now our end of the year gaggle for most of the show, contributor and managing editor, chris cillizza and perry bacon. stephanie cutter with president obama and kevin madden for governor romney's campaign. we asked all of you -- first of all, hello. >> hello. >> happy new year and all of you to pick. i threw out a dozen and asked you to pick two. again, not going to do the 2016 conversation now but we will in a few minutes. chris -- >> holding off. >> who are the two that jumped out at you thinking 2013? >> so i'm a little nerdy and focused on, you know, down ballot races and picked michael bennet, the colorado senator, the new head of the democratic senatorial campaign committee and tasked with trying to again keep a democratic senate majority, going to be difficult. you have 20 seats up. ten republican seats up. >> wants to be senate majority leader and why he's do
to the upper chamber to find a way out. vice president biden who had remained on the sidelines in this round of talks was even called in to help move things along. but as the saying goes, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. this morning, insanity continues as the clock ticks down and we have less than 17 hours to go. so joining us now to help us sort out this mess, we have former adviser to the bush administration and the romney campaign, dan senor. dan, will we go over the fiscal cliff? >> i'm afraid we will. i think it will get fixed right after right into the new year but i don't think it will get solved. >> something small, kicking the can down the road? >> correct. >> that same old thing. >> deal with the impasse until we get to the debt ceiling impasse. >> we'll talk about the politics of that coming up. former governor of pennsylvania and nbc news political analyst, ed rendell. ed, are we going over the cliff? >> no, i think we will kick the can down the road emphatically, but we won't go over the cliff. >> wow. director of the earth i
president joe biden, one of the folks, a lot of journalists on the hill right now keeping a close eye on mitch mcconnell's office to see if vice president biden is swinging by today and one of the ways that the two sides may be having a form of a conversation today given the fact that we believe absent the calls, the president put out to the leaders, the house and the senate, that there's been no more conversations absent those between senior staff today. >> viqueira, a little birdie around the building said there's a pool that some people are in betting on when this thing will be wrapped up. and i heard you have january 10th. i would like to know your thoughts on why you picked january 10th. i would like to know what is the outlier date in this pool and if you have any intel on who else is in the pool. >> reporter: well, i mean, i'm sure i take no satisfaction in being right in this. there's a lot at stake here and certainly we look at gambling on legislation so there's money wagered. having said that, toure, i mean, you know, there's just too many ways to lose votes in this thing an
, something does need to cobble together? >> i know our leader are trying. >>> what about vice president biden, you worked with him for 15 years. he and biden worked very well together in the fiscal negotiations last time. should you bring in biden into the conversation here? >> absolutely. i think joe biden is aaron p that knows the senators. perhaps when he would sit down with two of them, and we've got to bring speaker boehner and eric cantor into the mix to see what they can put together on the house side. because they know that we don't want to increase taxes. so i do think everyone coming toe, and it's going to take everyone, the president, the vice president, the house and sena senate. >>> are you saying there's several dozen that did not support plan b, they were not looking at this practically? >>> i agree with them. however, we're at a point where we will not get what we think is right for our economic and country, because we don't control government. so we've got to work within the system we have. i think 250,000 as a threshold is way too low. we can't do that to people who have a l
connell called on vice president joe biden to be that dance partner. biden has brokered 11th-hour deals with the republican leader in the past. mcconnell's appeal came just hours after the president appeared on "meet the press" and called out republican leaders by name. >> congress has not been able to get this stuff done, not because democrats in congress don't want to go ahead and cooperate, but because i think it's been very hard for speaker boehner and republican leader mcconnell to accept the fact that taxes on the wealthiest americans should go up a little bit as part of an overall deficit reduction package. >> nbc's capitol hill correspondent kelly o'donnell is live on capitol hill. kelly o., i'm looking at the clock, we are now 14 hours and 58 minutes from going over the fiscal cliff. let's outline -- >> reporter: but who's counting, right, chris? >> yeah, who's counting? let's go over for people, what remains unresolved? it seems like two weeks ago they were pretty well set on the basic parameters of this thing, so let's talk about what's left to deal on? >> reporter: well, the
president joe biden. yep. that's right. joe biden is the latest person to be called on to try to get congress out of the straight jacket they've put themselves in. the vp and senate minority leader mitch mcconnell exchanged phone calls until midnight last night and again this morning, and appeared to be zeroing in on a tax rate compromise in the region of a $450,000 to $550,000 threshold. a higher rate than the president's earlier compromise as well as an agreement on the estate tax. sticking points remain. president obama seemed resigned to going over the cliff. >> if all else fails, if republicans do, in fact, decide to block it so that taxes on middle class families do, in fact, go up on january 1st, then on january 4th the first bill to be introduced on the floor will be to cut taxes on middle class families. >> and this morning former white house spokesman robert gibbs was even more blunt. >> the republicans simply can't utter the word yes. they cannot utter the word yes. i mean, i feel like it's -- i feel like you're talking to a 5-year-old, and, you know, you're saying, look,
tonight, joe biden, of course. if there were to be a deal, of course, biden has been deeply involved since yesterday. when mitch mcconnell reached out to him. that's where it stands rielgts now. chris, part of this, we talked a little bit about procedure. the senate can do just about anything it wants if every senator just agreed to do this lickety-split, that is a huge stretch. at that point, all bets are off. mitch mcconnell has got to get on the same page as john boehner on the house 06 representatives. mcconnell is not going to walk the political bank. so a lot of variables here. the plan, all along, was for the senate to pass this thing and therefore, sort of box in the house. john boehner could present it to his gop conference, his conservatives and say, look, this is the only deal we can get. however, as you report it, it's quite clear now that technically, at least, we're going to be going over that cliff. the house, while they say they could call themselves back into session at any moment for all intense and purposes, they're gone until noon tomorrow. house leaders, their aides sa
, toree. the president, jovial, said they were close to a deal. that joe biden, the negotiations with mitch mcconnell essentially borne fruit. republicans annoyed with that. the tax threshold, that's agreed upon. republicans agree, too. what about this sequester? supposed to be the trigger, supposed to be the apocalyptic scenario that made cuts in spending necessary. otherwise we go over the cliff and there are cuts to defense and domestic programs. the president wants to delay them two months, three yearmonta year. many republicans say, absolutely not. many were angry he chose to have a campaign-style event in the white house complex. mitch mcconnell took the floor of the senate and pretty much calling the president's bluff saying, yes, we have an agreement on taxes. let's go ahead and vote on that. leave the sequester the way it is. that's not going to fly. we have an impasse here. there have been reports that the house of representatives to take whatever passes the senate if something passes and do it a minute after midnight. that scenario of steve and i and all of us talking
nationally. >> chris, the best move of the year? >> i think the best move, joe biden, who answered a question honestly without premeditation and frankly in his "meet the press" interview with david gregory when he was asked about marriage equality. and i think all the reporting afterward, was this a trial balloon, were they trying? no, no, no, joe biden was asked a question and answered with a moral legitimate move, a truthfulness that had these remarkable effects that it pushed the president to come clean about his personal evolution, i think that personally made a difference in the campaign. >> my visual on the campaign, we actually had a visual assist on this. "the washington post" said that obama and his allies spent far less than mitt romney, but got far more in key markets, targeting key democratic groups such as the young working voters in spring states. i think what they did, knowing why they were going, something we never saw before. the worst move of the 2012 campaign? >> i got two things on this. one is, i think my answer is choosing paul ryan to be the vice presidential nominee. j
biden taken the lead in the talks. negotiating with senate minority leader mitch mcconnell. they spoke and narrowed down the differences. among the points with headway, the tax hike threshold, the estate tax and extending unemployment benefits. the remaining sticking point is rumored to be the automatic spending cuts. collectively called the sequester you have been hearing about poised to kick in tomorrow. let's get to nbc white house correspondent kristen welker there for us. what was the point here? the president decided to come out and that bully pulpit can be a powerful weapon. >> reporter: certainly can be. good afternoon to you, t.j. the president using the bully pulpit. this is a part of the pressure on congress but also democrats who might be skeptical of this compromise that is coming to fruition so he came out today with middle class americans standing behind him and made the argument if we do, in fact, go over the cliff, if the steep tax hikes and spending cuts kick in to effect tomorrow, that the average american would see their taxes increase by about $2,000. this is an ar
president joe biden will be there. while some appear ready to compromise others are still ducking, dodging, trying to dump the blame elsewhere. >> we all have our ideas and in the senate, you're right. we probably another 40, 50, 60 of saying that we're ready to both raise revenues and control entitlements. when's the missing ingredient? it is presidential leadership. >> i think in the end we'll get a deal. the question is the timing. >> am hopeful there will be a deal that avoids the worst parts of the fiscal cliff, namely taxes going up on middle class people. >> it's pretty apparent that we are not going to do what we've been called to do. this is 112th congress. we have had two years to deal with quote the fiscal cliff. >> let's bring in our man at the white house, peter alexander standing by. pete, we just got word the president it appears is making some sort of smaller offer at this 3:00 meeting. any idea what smaller might mean? >> reporter: it's a good question, craig. actually kelly o'donnell reporting some more of this from the hill. she says that income level of $400,000 that th
to be this push towards that. mr. biden has his own commission regarding it, but there is a worry amongst some folks once time passes, once we get past the state of the union, this could fizzle out. knowing how much gun control has talked about -- >> not going to happen. >> why not? why is it going to stay a pertinent part of the conversation in the public going forward? >> i think the public has been shocked and their conscience has been put on the carpet here with this one, and the totality of newtown, aurora, tucson, a number of others, this just bizarre situation out of webster, new york, guy sets a fire, firefighters come and he basically tries to take target practice and picks off a number of them, killing two, injures another two, damaging other people's homes. i guess, you know, out of last week's bizarre press statement, it wasn't a press conference, i guess mr. lapierre would then say firefighters need to have armed guards go with them. i think it just shows that was a completely dumbass idea from the start, the announcement last week. we need to ban assault weapons. we need to ban t
sessions with vice president joe biden. >> so i agree. let's pass the tax relief portion now. let's take what's been agreed to and get moving. we all want to protect taxpayers, and we can get it done now. >> but not everyone is happy about this deal. senator john mccain spoke just before senator mcconnell on the senate floor. >> i guess i have to wonder, and i think the american people have to wonder whether the president really wants this issue resolved or is it to his short-term political benefit for us to go over the cliff? >> aides on the hill are telling nbc news there will be no vote on any deal in the house tonight, so it does look like we'll be going over the cliff, at least temporarily. joining me now from capitol hill, nbc white house correspondent mike viqueira. what's going on right now? >> reporter: furs of all house republican aides will tell you there's nothing to vote on. in that they would be entirely correct. we've been talking about the parameters of the deal and you have correctly outlined them as far as i understand them in terms of the income levels and the alternat
:34 this afternoon in from the wings of the chamber walked the president of the senate, vice president joe biden. joe biden does not often serve in his capacity as president of the senate. but today was ditch. today joe biden had an incredibly important job to fulfill. >> do you solemnly swear to support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that you will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, that you take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which you're about to enter, so help you god? >> i do. >> congratulations, senator. >> thank you. >> and welcome. >> congratulations, senator. today the united states senate got a brand new member. democrat brian schatz of hawaii. senator schatz was appointed by hawaii's governor last night to fill the vacant seat of senator daniel inouye, who passed away a week ago. brian schatz got on air force one late last night. he touched down in washington early this morning. and he was a senator
. minority leader mitch mcconnell called the vice president joe biden to get involved and help in the negotiations. lawmakers say they are hopeful they will get a deal today but even if they do the fight won't be over for long. republicans will push for those reforms they gave up this time around early next year during the debt limit debate. back to you. >>> for his part president obama has been trying to turn up the heat on congress applying new pressure on sunday in an interview with david gregory on "meet the press." nbc news white house correspondent has details. >> reporter: on "meet the press," president obama continued his public campaign to pressure congress. >> if congress doesn't act, then everybody's taxes go up, and for the average family that could mean a loss of $2,000 in income and the who economy can slow down. >> reporter: he called an lawmakers to strike a deal or hold a vote on his plan which would raise tax rates on wealthy americans a major sticking points for republicans. >> the way they are behaving is that their only priority is making sure that tax brea
. >> do you have a show -- joe biden will talk to anybody. he's a nice guy. have you talked to joe biden? >> i have, but not in relation to this. i met him prior to signing on to this. he's a great guy. i love him. >> did you talk to al gore? >> i talked to a couple of vice presidents. i was keeping that under wraps. i wanted to ask really personal questions like i don't know, when you get up in the middle of the night because you have to go to the bathroom does the secret service follow you? that's an important question. can you see how i take this research seriously? >> we had al gore, that cat is out of the bag. >> because he led. >> did you talk to him? >> i'm not talking. i'm not talking. >> so we always hear about the body man. the body man, you look at reggie love and always a fascinating relationship with the president. you have a fascinating relationship with your body man. >> yes. tony hale from arrested development is my body man. >> i have seen that show. it's fantastic. >> it is fantastic. he is so phenomenally fabulous and he is next to me all the type. so much so they go l
unemployment benefits run out. that's why president obama organized the meeting with vice president biden, speaker boehner, nancy pelosi and senators reid and mcconnell. he urged them to extend jobless benefits. we can deal with cuts to defense and domestic programs later. but let's take care of the middle and working class right now. give them assurance right now. joining me is congressman chief ellison. he's co-chair of the progressive caucus and melissa harris perry, host of the melissa harris perry show here on msnbc. thank you both for coming on the show. >> thank you, al. >> congressman, let me go to you first, this deal comes down to taxing the rich. how can they not realize this is what the country wants? >> i don't think that the republican leadership cares what the country wants. i think they care about what their biggest donors want and their big donors want to reorganize america so that -- because they believe that the rich don't have enough money and the poor have too much. so what we're hearing here is an expression of an et you logical idea that we need american society to
>>> breaking news here. president obama, vice president biden, mcconnell, pelosi and reid and boehner are meeting to discuss the fiscal cliff. we are hearing the president's planning to present a smaller offer. for the latest, we bring in peter alexander from the white house and mike viqueira from capitol hill. peter, let's talk about what's going on at the white house meeting. i hear senators are optimistic about a mini deal which, of course, will raise taxes on those above $400,000. expand the amt, cut some spending. what are you hearing? >> reporter: well, hearing a lot of different things right now. one of the items and ruled by rumor and then denials and frustrations, toure. we know that we saw senators mcconnell and reid arriving a short time ago. we didn't pelosi and boehner arrive yet but the vice president joe biden got here a short time ago, as well. there's other reporting from the hill right now about the potential that the president is going to return to what was basically his original outlined plan. perhaps a smaller plan but a plan where the threshold would
office with vice president biden by his side. he's hosting all the major players. the chances of success, depends on who you talk to. >> getting more optimistic. sometimes it's darkest before the dawn. >> this afternoons meetings feels much like optics. >> there are some signs of possible flexibility, but first of all it would be helpful if the house of representatives actually came back. right now we're at a stalemate, because the democrats haven't been willing to consider the issue of spending. >> i want to bring in perry bacon and it edward keith. most of that was just from today. is this meeting to hash out details or perhaps to save face bhf we go over the cliff? >> i would argue today's meeting is they actually thing the outlines of a deal are possible. the president will push today for some agreement in which the middle-class tax cuts are extended for everyone, while the higher rates go up, we also put off the rest of the details for later. the president is pushing for something. that said the optics are important because everybody wants to look like they're working this issue. >>
're following developing news from the senate at this hour. just a few minutes, vice president joe biden speaking in hawaii lieutenant governor schatz. ko coming up, why the governor ignored the death bed wishes of the senator asking for someone else to fill the seat. mark murray will join me live. >>> plus, that massive winter storm blamed for killing 15 as it creates more trouble for travel everies returning home from the holidays. >>> russia's president says he, quote, doesn't see any reasons he shouldn't sign a bill banning americans from adopting russian children. don't forget as always, join the conversation. we are on twitter. there's our handle right there. we'll be right back. new years clutter is no match for someone with big ideas. with a new project in mind, some how-to knowledge to give us an edge, and more savings down every aisle. it only takes a few twists and turns for those bright ideas to make the new year even brighter. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. start fresh and save with hdx 20 gallon totes, a special buy at just $5.88 a piece. [ sni
biden. and of course nbc's luke russert. luke, i'm starting with you. we just got a statement from speaker boehner and the house leaders. and shock. they are putting it back on the senate. tell us about the statement and where it's going from here. >> it's a fascinating ping-pong match right now. but really with the senate, john boehner, eric cantor with mccarthy and morris are saying is there are two bills the house passed to deal with the fiscal cliff that are now over the united states senate. if the senate wants to do anything with them, amend them and send them back to the house and perhaps the house will act on it. essentially what boehner is saying is we're not making any moves until the senate amends the two bills we passed over or sends a new one. what are in those bills? well, they essentially extend the bush tax cuts permanently for all earners. and then to avert the sequester and other types of cuts, they make what a lot of liberals have called draconian cuts to meals on wheels, food stamps. it goes into discretionary spending. the house passed bills are absolutely woul
, former chief economist to vip biden, as well as a contributor. i want to start with the new statement from senator mitch mcconnell's office coming out says last night he called other lead serious. the leader is happy to review what the president has in mind, but to day date the majority has not put forward a plan. jared, is that good they're actually speaking, however far apart as it may sound, at least they're talking? >> it's a bit good. better to be talking than north. the unfortunate thing are the words they're saying. i don't hear much compromise or kind of conciliation in the statements we've heard thus far. i do hear a lot of theatrics, you go first, no you go first. it's strange to say the democrats haven't put forth any legislation on this, because in fact they have. in fact, a democratic majority in the senate passed a bill that's pretty similar to the compromise that the president was offering before he left for hawaii. that's the tax rates are froch for 250,000 and below, they go up for the top 2%, sequester gets kicked down the road, unemployment gets extended, a few othe
ended the freeze on federal pay, only about .5%. and biden will see his pay go go up to $231,900. speaker boehner will make $224,600. that's $30,000 more than the pay of senate and house majority and minority leaders. those raises maybe good news for congress. but the rest of america won't be so happy when they see their paycheck next year. it's almost certain that the government will not extend the payroll tax holiday. that means a 2% tax increase for every last one of us. joining me is gerald bernstein, a senior fellow at the center of budget and policy priorities. get the title out. let's get to business. why are we not talking about this? talking about the cliff, but everybody's taxes going up with the payroll tax holiday. >>ith a great question, t.j. an important and underappreciated part of the fiscal cliff. the answer to the why is it really doesn't have any champions. when you hear the list of things people fighting for, estate tax, you hear the unemployment extension, things like that. you don't even hear this listed anymore. i know for a fact that the white house wa
that the president and vice president joe biden are calling the four congressional leaders behind closed closed doors today. >> i am hopeful. i wouldn't say i'm optimistic, but i think confidence has gone down. i think the key is whether the speaker will be the speaker of the entire house and let the matters come before us where there could be a majority of democrats and perhaps a majority of republicans, but let es speak our will and act on our will. that's really one of the keys. i think if the senate bill or what was in it were brought before the house, keeping the middle-class tax cuts, but not those for the upper income, and making sure the alternative minimum tax did not go into effect -- i think it would pass with a coalition. and i think the same could be true of unemployment insurance. 2 million people will lose their federal benefits tomorrow, if we don't have. 2 million people. >> when we snowe the fiscal cliff was imposed as a stopgap on you and all of your colleagues on the hill, are you disappointed that you've had to see it come down to the wire like this? this is basically a self-desi
mcconnell and biden on the phone and the president involved. really to take christmas off facing the fiscal cliff in a week shows how little optimism there is. >> i completely agree. we spent many late nights in the capital and is it doesn't seem like that is going to happen. >> amazing that they washed their hands of it. thank you so much for coming. check out shark week. the best drummer on capitol hill. next, president bush forced to spend christmas in the hospital. after suffering setbacks in his recovery, we will have the latest on his condition. new details about the christmas eve ambush of firefighters. what the gunman's final words were. today's trivia question, before bernie sanders, who was the last self-identified socialist to serve in congress? the first correct answer will get a file wednesday from us. [ male announcer ] how do you measure happiness? by the armful? by the barrelful? the carful? how about...by the bowlful? campbell's soups give you nutrition, energy, and can help you keep a healthy weight. campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do. >> still being trea
be on the panel that vice president biden will be leading? >> he's a former member of congress, he has sway with people on capitol hill, he's large live seen as somebody who is going to run for governor in his home state of arkansas going forward, he's still an active political figure, former members of congress tend to get more things done here in washington than some other folks but we'll see. >> they don't have to be re-elected. >> that's right. they're going to need a lot of power going forward to get lngs through. >> we heard this on friday, we heard it on sunday from lapierre. he was using the terms "good guys" fairly frequently. does that positive association he's making with police officers, of those who are trained using gun, using the terms "good guys" is that what we expect to hear for all those who are opponents of gun legislation going forward? >> i think so. i think that will be part of the conversation. but, you know, this will be a really difficult battle on capitol hill, especially in the house but also in the senate. we see a lot of democrats up nor reelection in two years
to vice president joe biden. that's just some of the details as you so well know here but let's remind ourselves, though, of this word that we have been using. that was termed by mr. bernanke. he called it a cliff. but really -- >> right. >> it is like falling down stairs, isn't it? >> right. more so a staircase or a slope in the sense that some of the damage you just described actually takes a while to arrive and if congress is able to quickly reverse the cliff dive, it could be more and i have heard folks use this, more of a bungee yump to get back up to the cliff. >> at the end of the day, right. >> the tax increases you noticed, these are tax increase that is are fazed in over the course of 2013. so it's not until april 2014 when you're filling out the tax bill for the prior year that you would be looking at some of the increases you just described. now, a couple of nuances, though. the payroll tax cut that's been in effect, the 2% on your paycheck of a payroll tax break, that does go away right away. and people will likely see that quickly. and by the way, i don't think any party
on the recommendations that joe biden's task force is putting together as we speak. and so this is not something that i will be putting off. >> the nra says it's just not going to work. it didn't work before. it's not going to work now. >> you know, my response is, something has to work. you know, it is not enough for us to say, this is too hard, so we're not going to try. so what i intend to do is i will call all the stakeholders together. i will meet with the republicans. i will meet with democrats. i will talk to anybody. i think there are a vast majority of responsible gun owners out there who recognize that we can't have a situation in which somebody with severe psychological problems is able to get the kind of high-capacity weapons that this individual in newtown obtained. and gunned down our kids. and yes, it's going to be hard. >> should we have an armed guard at every school in the country? that's what the nra believes, they told me last week, that could work. >> i'm not going to prejudge the recommendations that are given to me. i am skeptical that the only answer is putting more guns in scho
will put forward a very specific proposal based on the recommendations that joe biden's task force is putting together as we speak. and so this is not something that i will be putting off. but -- >> the a says it's just not going to work. it didn't work before, it's not going to work now. >> my response is something has to work. it is not enough for us to say this is too hard so we're not going to try. so what i intend to do is i will call all the stakeholders together. i will meet with the republicans. i will meet with the democrats. i will talk to anybody. i think there are a vast majority of responsible gun owners out there who recognize that we can't have a situation in which somebody with, you know, severe psychological problems is able to get the kind of high capacity weapons that this individual in newtown obtained and gun down our kids. and, yes, it's going to be hard. >> should we have an armed guard at every school in the country? that's what the nra believes. they told me last week that could work. >> you know, i'm not going to prejudge the recommendations that are given
're not telling the senate what to do. for majority leader reid, we encourage him. >> senator, joe biden is, of course, president of the senate. he has a constitutional role. he could cast a deciding vote and he is currently on the side of the administration in beating badge challenges to the filibuster in federal court. at least this vice president has taken some stands here, hasn't he? >> well, not if terms of the framework of what we're about to do. and indeed, we would be as vice president, he could do a couple of things on a constitutional issue. he can say those are by normal protocol referred to the body. so if you have 51 members who vote, that becomes the ruling. so he can either make a ruling himself and then we sustain or overturn it or he can turn the ruling back to the body, which is what was done in 1975. >> understood. steve is going to give us our last question today. >> sort of a skeptical one. even people appreciate the idea of what you're doing. i think the point is you get the talking filibuster. it will be a novelty at first. some people on c span 2 would get a kick out
this was going on, joe biden was just generally enjoying himself. >> i always say what i mean. >> in the end, neither a dominant first debate -- >> i have no idea what you're talking about. >> nor a virtuoso convention performance by clint eastwood. >> what do you want me to tell romney? can't do that to himself. >> nor this -- could carry mitt romney past the president. so very close to the oval office, romney now mostly hangs out at disney world. leaving the national stage along with romney in varying degrees of disgrace were general david petraeus, undone by an affair with his own biographer. lance armstrong stripped of everything, including the yellow jersey on his back. and governor "rocket" rob blagojevich, sent to a federal lock-up for 14 years for the crime of being a chicago politician. >> i thought about mandela, dr. king, gandhi. >> one of blago's old opponents in the illinois state legislature, republican mike bost, became a web star when he lost his mind in public. >> trying to be released! let my people go! >> meanwhile, down in the florida legislature, there was rigorous debat
president biden may very well focus. by the way, let me just say that would have done nothing, as you know, to prevent the tragedy that happened recently, but still and all, i think you have a valid point. >> but some of the measures we talked about i believe would have had an impact on some of the other incidents we've seen over the last several years. it strikes me that the conversation is so distorted when people are waiting eight and nine hours to vote and yet we're saying people can't be asked to wait five days for a gun and i think a lot of people don't realize that once you have that background check, those records are destroyed after 24 hours. >> but also as we're getting further and further away from the newtown tragedy, i hope people don't lose their sense of what it means to that community and what the impact has been on that community. we're going to have these sausage making conversations about common sense gun safety versus gun control versus the nra. i hope we keep the national tragedies in mind as we have those conversations so we can have the kind of compassion that helps
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